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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: Inductive probabilistic taxonomy learning using singular value decomposition
Author: Francesca Fallucchi
Institution: Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
Author: Fabio Massimo Zanzotto
Institution: University of Rome, La Sapienza
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics
Abstract: Capturing word meaning is one of the challenges of natural language processing (NLP). Formal models of meaning, such as networks of words or concepts, are knowledge repositories used in a variety of applications. To be effectively used, these networks have to be large or, at least, adapted to specific domains. Learning word meaning from texts is then an active area of research. Lexico-syntactic pattern methods are one of the possible solutions. Yet, these models do not use structural properties of target semantic relations, e.g. transitivity, during learning. In this paper, we propose a novel lexico-syntactic pattern probabilistic method for learning taxonomies that explicitly models transitivity and naturally exploits vector space model techniques for reducing space dimensions. We define two probabilistic models: the direct probabilistic model and the induced probabilistic model. The first is directly estimated on observations over text collections. The second uses transitivity on the direct probabilistic model to induce probabilities of derived events. Within our probabilistic model, we also propose a novel way of using singular value decomposition as unsupervised method for feature selection in estimating direct probabilities. We empirically show that the induced probabilistic taxonomy learning model outperforms state-of-the-art probabilistic models and our unsupervised feature selection method improves performance.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 17, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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